"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart." -- Colossians 3.23
What do you pray about? Has it ever occurred to you to have the "courage" to pray?
We mislead ourselves into thinking that prayer is something we do when we are weak. Certainly, it might be something we do when we feel there is no other recourse to a wrong. It might feel like an act of powerlessness. But to actually pray those words, hopes, feelings: to transmit them outside of ourselves: to name them, acknowledge them, and admit them: that requires courage because it makes them real.
Over the course of the next couple of months, we will be loosely following the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt and into a new land. It is a trying and harrowing journey, and, if taken literally, quite intensely dull. Forty years of wilderness wandering? Yet, our congregation is also in a time of journey. We're growing. We're exploring what to do with and how to best use that growth by identifying God's call upon our congregation. Through it all, however, we will need the courage to pray. We will need the courage to pause, stop, voice our concerns, and listen to the response(s) we receive. We will need the courage to make room for God despite the urgency of whatever it is we might be doing. This applies to our own lives.
In our rush to "do" something, prayer seems like something we cast aside. We don't have time for it. Yet, the very holiday we celebrate on Monday, Labor Day, exists because the American labor movement asked for time for people to rest despite their labors, without being penalized in either their competence nor salary. The church, as with those laborers, also advocates, through prayer, the need to rest, pause, breathe, and listen to the still-speaking voice of God. When we feel as if our self-worth is determined by being constantly busy, stopping and pausing from our labors for such activities as prayer takes real courage.
I look forward to joining with you again in worship on Sunday. See you then, and bring a friend.